Picture-Based Crop Insurance (PBI)

The Picture-Based Insurance project provides a new, innovative way of delivering affordable and easy-to-understand crop insurance. By using visible crop characteristics derived from farmers’ own smartphone pictures, the project aims to minimize the costs of loss verification and make crop insurance more affordable and accessible.

How it works

  1. Farmers download the insurance app onto their smartphones.
  2. They enroll within the app with as many sites as they prefer.
  3. For every site to be enrolled, they upload an initial overview picture.
  4. Every few days from sowing to harvest, farmers upload new pictures for the same sites.
  5. After cultivation, local agronomists analyze the pictures to verify losses.*
  6. Farmers who suffered crop damage receive insurance payouts.


* Scientists are using camera data and damage reports collected during the formative phase to train algorithms that automate image processing for loss verification.

A formative evaluation was conducted in the Rabi (winter) season during 2016 and 2017 in six districts of Haryana and Punjab, India.

The PBI project is funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), with additional contributions from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS). The project is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and implemented in partnership with the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), HDFC Ergo General Insurance, Limited, and researchers from The George Washington University, Boston University, and Ghent University.

What's New

Congratulations to the PBI project team for winning one of five Inspire Challenge grants from the CGIAR Big Data Platform! 









Scaling picture-based crop insurance
Nov 7,2017

Picture-based crop insurance: Is it feasible? Is it sustainable? Oct 4,2017

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